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The Pulverisation of Australian Rugby

Bruce Ross

Ken Catchpole (46)
pulverise (iz), v. 1. v.t. Reduce to powder or dust; (fig.) demolish, crush, smash. 2. v.i. Crumble to dust. {ME, f. LL pulverizare]

Rebels, Force granted foreign recruit concession
THE ARU has granted Super Rugby expansion franchises Melbourne Rebels and Western Force a concession to recruit seven foreign players to help them to compete with the traditional powers in NSW, Queensland and the ACT.
The Brumbies, NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds are allowed to recruit two foreign players, one marquee and one developmental.
The Rebels and the Force will be able to recruit a marquee import as well as six foreign development players, who will eventually become eligible to play for the Wallabies.

Let's put this in context. The AFL has 18 teams; the NRL has 16 teams; and the A-League has 10 teams. Australian Rugby has just 5 professional teams. So "part of our approach to share the talent around the country" and to meet the challenge of the other codes is to reduce by ten the number of professional contracts potentially available to locally produced players. Brilliant! Far-sighted and cost effective. It gives the ARU further justification to reduce the pittance it doles out to club rugby.

Those who battled on through Brett Harris's article eventually came to this Churchillian proclamation: "I'd love to see our teams come first, second, third, fourth and fifth in the competition."

There's a vision statement for you. Pithy but heart stirring. I'd like to see it emblazoned on T-shirts or become the punchline in a new Australian Rugby anthem. That's why we pay our man a million dollars a year, plus commensurate golden parachute conditions in case it all goes pear-shaped. Statesmanship doesn't come cheap

Just as Pommy grandfathers used to bore the grand-kids senseless by repetitively recalling: "I were actually listening to the radio when that great man intoned, 'We will fight them on the beaches, etc., etc.,' That was when I knew we'd beat the beastly Hun"; so in years to come we'll be able to get our grand-kids to flee to their beds by telling them, "I was actually reading Rupert's right-wing-rag when I read the Pulver Declaration, 'I'd love to see our teams come first, second, third, fourth and fifth in the competition.' That was when I knew we had the Mungoes by the gonads.".
 

lewisr

Bill McLean (32)
^ As above. Wouldn't you atleast start with one or two extras to see how it goes? I personally think the Force are the ones who are seriously struggling... The Rebels have shown that they are creating a culture. Injuries just aren't helping their cause at the moment.
 

Bruce Ross

Ken Catchpole (46)
Virtually explicit in the Pulver Pronouncement is the idea that Australian Rugby is incapable of producing sufficient players of international standard; evidenced by the stipulation that the additional import positions are to be restricted to those "who will eventually become eligible to play for the Wallabies."

Let us look at a simple alternative to the 457-Visa-isation of our sport.

The objective is to try to even up the playing field by favouring the disadvantaged franchises. Few of us would object to the underlying aim. The alternative strategy proposed would be for the ARU to allow the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels to lift their salary cap by say $500,000 on the proviso that the additional money was to be used to fully contract three additional players.

There would be a net gain of 16 locally developed players on full professional contracts if the second alternative were implemented (the 10 positions which had been Pulverised plus 6 new positions). 16 locally produced players who would get the chance to participate as professional sportsmen without needing to go to Europe or to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle of Japanese Rugby. 16 locally produced players who would have the opportunity to go on to play for the Wallabies.

If the ARU were actually serious about lifting our playing standards - a fanciful notion admittedly but conceptually possible - they might choose to subsidise the salary cap increases to some extent.
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T

TOCC

Guest
Pulver's administration is fixing the mistakes of past failures...

Australia never had the player power to support the expansions to start with..

What's the point of opening player contractual positions if the players who are set to fill those positions are substandard and not up to the required level.

Bring in the foreign mercenaries I say, we are better off having competitive teams rather then having then cannon fodder for teams.
 

Scotty

David Codey (61)
Virtually explicit in the Pulver Pronouncement is the idea that Australian Rugby is incapable of producing sufficient players of international standard; evidenced by the stipulation that the additional import positions are to be restricted to those "who will eventually become eligible to play for the Wallabies."

Let us look at a simple alternative to the 457-Visa-isation of our sport.

The objective is to try to even up the playing field by favouring the disadvantaged franchises. Few of us would object to the underlying aim. The alternative strategy proposed would be for the ARU to allow the Western Force and Melbourne Rebels to lift their salary cap by say $500,000 on the proviso that the additional money was to be used to fully contract three additional players.

There would be a net gain of 16 locally developed players on full professional contracts if the second alternative were implemented (the 10 positions which had been Pulverised plus 6 new positions). 16 locally produced players who would get the chance to participate as professional sportsmen without needing to go to Europe or to disappear into the Bermuda Triangle of Japanese Rugby. 16 locally produced players who would have the opportunity to go on to play for the Wallabies.

If the ARU were actually serious about lifting our playing standards - a fanciful notion admittedly but conceptually possible - they might choose to subsidise the salary cap increases to some extent.
.

The easy answer is for the ARU to have a policy that limits the player top up money for each team.

Similar to what you suggest. There would essentially be two caps. One funded by the super team and one funded by the ARU.

We wouldn't get this ridiculous situation that occurs at the moment where a team like the Tahs have total top up funds for their players that is multiple times higher than the likes of the Force. (I don't know the stats but it would be very interesting to see the total top up funds players from each team receive.)
 

Scotty

David Codey (61)
Pulver's administration is fixing the mistakes of past failures.

Australia never had the player power to support the expansions to start with..

What's the point of opening player contractual positions if the players who are set to fill those positions are substandard and not up to the required level.

Bring in the foreign mercenaries I say, we are better off having competitive teams rather then having then cannon fodder for teams.

The Force and Rebels have not been cannon fodder at all this year.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
The Force and Rebels have not been cannon fodder at all this year.

Over the last 2 seasons their winning ratio stands at a combined 25%, and that's with the Rebels still hosting a sizeable quota of foreign players..

Maybe cannon fodder was an exaggeration, perhaps 'competitively challenged' is a better description.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Feel free to provide constructive comments
What is the purpose of strengthening these franchises if not with oz players?
As I recall the reason we, the rugby following public, were given for "needing" for the rebels was to give Australian players a better chance of playing at a higher level and thereby developing into test players and not needing to go overseas to ply their trade.
This announcement suggests that is not working.
If its not working what is the purpose in having these unsustainable franchises?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
T

TOCC

Guest
What is the purpose of strengthening these franchises if not with oz players?
As I recall the reason we, the rugby following public, were given for "needing" for the rebels was to give Australian players a better chance of playing at a higher level and thereby developing into test players and not needing to go overseas to ply their trade.
This announcement suggests that is not working.
If its not working what is the purpose in having these unsustainable franchises?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Commercial interests were always the reason that Australia chased more teams, extra positions for players was just a byproduct of the expansion.

Quite simply there is no chance of removing unsustainable franchises, the broadcasters have signed a deal for a certain number of matches in relevant time zones.


Would the Rebels and Force attract more sponsors and bigger crowds if they were winning? Would this increase revenue?

Would more revenue for our super rugby clubs allow those teams to improve their professional set-up?

Are the Brumbies a better team by having Henry Speight on the wing?
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
Commercial interests were always the reason that Australia chased more teams, extra positions for players was just a byproduct of the expansion.

Quite simply there is no chance of removing unsustainable franchises, the broadcasters have signed a deal for a certain number of matches in relevant time zones.


Would the Rebels and Force attract more sponsors and bigger crowds if they were winning? Would this increase revenue?

Would more revenue for our super rugby clubs allow those teams to improve their professional set-up?

Are the Brumbies a better team by having Henry Speight on the wing?
The ARUs role is not solely or even mostly that of a content provider.
Their job is to foster the game in this country.
They need to spend time, money and resources on the grass roots: you cannot grow any thing from the top down, in the long run.
If its only about the pros then it may as well be loig.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
T

TOCC

Guest
The ARUs role is not solely or even mostly that of a content provider.
Their job is to foster the game in this country.
They need to spend time, money and resources on the grass roots: you cannot grow any thing from the top down, in the long run.
If its only about the pros then it may as well be loig.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I'm not disputing any of this, I don't disagree with the concept of expansion, just the way it's been enabled to allow the force and rebels the best chance of success.
 
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